No questions here are dumb. A tender is a smaller boat that will come to the ship when its anchored out to take passengers to the port. There are some ports where you can't just dock, so you have to tender in. Just remember that process does take time and they take the passengers with cruisline booked shore excursions first.
We have never had to tender in since we were able to dock at the piers. I understand that we will have to tender at Cozumel this time due to hurricane damage. What about at Montego Bay and Grand Caymans? How large are these boats (No. of passengers) and how difficult to board? Sailing Sunday and am a little apprehensive about this.
Carnival Fantasy (15 Member Family Cruise)
Hi Jst1jst, I have tendered from a few ports. The tenders are usually easy to board. Walk down to the entrance. There are always crew there to assist boarding. Last trip I had a mentally challenged elderly lady with me. She was a bit nervous at first. Crew helped her to board and she was fine. Have a great trip. Cozumel is AWESOME!!
Usually 4 to 6 of the ship's lifeboats are designed to be tenders. At ports where you can't dock they will spend the day ferrying passengers to and from the ship to the dock. As pointed out there are some tender ports in the Caribbean. Other examples are Milford sound New Zealand, Moorea Tahiti, Lahaina Hawaii and the Falkland Is. Sometimes you tender in because there is no dock, or your ship is to large for the port or there are only one or two slots at the dock and both are taken by other ships, or the docks are damaged, or the dock workers are on strike. It is always a great opportunity to get a good view and photos of your ship!
Landlocked in Denver, but cruisin every chance we get.
Polynesia, Carib. '86
Cr. Odyssey, Scandinavia, '91, 30 Day S Pac. 2002
Crystal Harm, Aust., N.Z., '94
Royal Odyssey, AK,'96
Old Cr. Pr. Canal, '97
RCCL, Carib, 1998
Volendam, Car, 2000
Ryndam, 35 day S. Am., Antarctica, '03
Is. Pr., Canal, 2004
Statendam, 34 day China, Japan, AK '06
Cr.Pr., Carib. 08
Eurodam, Atlantic, Med. '10